As I am a professional writer and have work to do to get paid, I have decided to deal with these thudding plot bunnies in the traditional manner - I will inflict them on others. Please see my Profile for the Challenges of the Month. July Challenges are now available, and what a twist for one of them. If you'd rather do June's, instead, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks to all those who have participated thus far - we had an exceptional turn out for June II for example. The new challenges will run through the end of July. Please let me know when you respond to a Challenge so I can read and review.

This story is in response to blvdgrl's request for July Challenge II. I was asked to write a sequel or companion to her story, "Deity", include Ten, Rose, and Mickey, and set the story between "Girl in the Fireplace" and "Age of Steel". I have managed this. I was also asked to name the planet, give some cultural background, and disguise Rose for her own safety at some point.

"Deity" is a beautiful story, with a little humor and a lot of powerful prose. Make sure to check it out if you haven't already - it's on my favorites.

I, on the other hand, am insane. My response is from Mickey's point of view and, therefore, is all humor. It takes place ages into the future of the planet. I still cannot explain the special guest star - no idea HOW he got in this story, but he insisted and so here he is. There will be chapters on this one, because it got a bit long. They'll go up over the next two days. The rating should be considered to be a T+. Thanks!


Chapter 1:

"So, what are you hanging around here for, Mister Mousy?"

Mickey Smith looked up and glowered at the bloke dangling from the opposite wall in much the same way he was from this one. He was wearing leather-looking trousers and some fancy red jacket that he'd left open to show his bare chest. He had cursed the guards in a multitude of untranslated phrased when they dragged Mickey in to shackle him into this dank cell. Mickey could admit to being impressed, but he wouldn't. "Could ask you the same thing. Your band get a new drummer and chuck you?"

"Hah, hah," said the blond bloke, rolling his eyes. "Still as witty as ever, I see. What are you doing out of your hole?"

"Dunno what you're on about," replied Mickey. "And I've never seen you before."

"Oh, I realize that now," came the sarcastic reply. It was followed by a cheeky grin, reminiscent of that Jack flash bloke who used to travel with Rose and the Doctor. Wonder what happened to him?

Grimly, Mickey decided that it was probably the same thing that was happening now. Captain Oblivious had been chained to some wall somewhere, waiting for them to spring him, and they'd gotten so caught up in each other, as per usual, that they'd completely forgotten the poor bastard existed.

"So why'd they nick you, then?" Mickey asked.

"I was taking a leak."

Mickey blinked in surprise. "Didn't know that was a crime here."

"Tell me about it. You sign one of these damned icons of theirs and the next thing you know, they're hauling you in for treason. They're just lucky I was finished improving the art work."

Mickey laughed. "Mickey Smith," he introduced.

"John," the bloke replied. "What the hell, Captain John Smith. Think anyone'll believe we're brothers?"

"With what these people believe?" Mickey asked. He glanced at the decidedly white, obviously older bloke. "Hell, we could probably convince them we're identical freaking twins."

John laughed. "We need a plan. What'd they get you for?"

"Oh, god!" said Mickey, with a grim chuckle. "Where to start!?"

If they were shagging on the console, Mickey decided, he was going to demand they take a break at Jackie's. While there, he would "accidentally" suss them and then sit back to watch the fireworks.

He bet himself ten quid that they were.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. The mess on the spaceship with the French concubine should have put a stop to their cozy little space opera and given Mickey his last chance to steal his girl back from the alien git who stole her in the first place.

Instead, it had taken them maybe four hours to make up. Maybe four, if you counted the three quarters of an hour it had taken the Doctor to give up and come for Rose, if you counted the hour after Mickey spied them leaving the kitchen hand in hand. During that hour, he had gone into the room Rose had helped him pick out earlier, sat around, waited for her to come, waited for her to tell him how badly she was hurt, waited for her to want him or need him like she always used to do.

When it didn't happen, he went to look in on her. He wished he'd never opened the door. He found them sprawled together on the bed in a tangle of Rose's creamy arms and the Doctor's long, lanky limbs. It was a good thing they were still fully clothed, or he would have gotten entirely too much of an eyeful of alien bits, because the Doctor apparently slept, sprawled flat on his back and snoring up that oncoming storm Rose had called him earlier.

Mickey actually didn't know how she slept through the din.

Bravely, he went to open the console room door. He considered this very brave, because the Doctor had just made that loud, whooping noise he always made when something was particularly wonderful. Rose had let out a breathy, strange giggle. The giggle was punctuated with a deep masculine groan.

Make it twenty quid, he told himself, and opened the door.

Rose was just picking herself up off the floor. The Doctor was already dancing around the console, complaining good-naturedly about being on the planet Byristra, when he couldn't remember what was so interesting, if anything, about Byristra.

They greeted him enthusiastically and offered to let him go first. The Doctor promised there was no one shooting at anyone outside the door.

Rose shot them both a teasing grin. The Doctor tugged on his ear. "It's a very important thing to find out," he said. "You never know when you could land in the middle of a gang shoot-out, take two bullets to the chest, get drugged unconscious by stupid humans who think they're looking at double exposures, and die on the operating table, forcing you to regenerate in a morgue almost too late to survive. With, I might add, the fancy camera still in your chest."

Mickey stared at him in horror. "So that's happened to you before?" he gasped out.

"Eh," the Doctor said. "Could be."

"Oh my god," Rose exclaimed, and immediately put her hand on his chest, as if to check he didn't still have a camera in it. He gave her that sickly, indulgent smile that had looked paternal on his previous face, but looked like a puppy on his present face. "So what happened? You didn't yell at the surgeons too much, did you?"

"I scared the hell out of her. But that's ok, because she thought I was pretty."

"You and your girlfriends," Rose said cheerfully.

It was obviously yet another Doctor/Rose only inside joke, because they both laughed themselves stupid about it.

Mickey stepped out through the doors, saw a statue of Rose, and went to look for something interesting. They seemed to be in some sort of museum, and the TARDIS was parked behind a large, vindictively blue box, roughly the same size, but much taller.



Mickey's eyes widened. "Statue of Rose," he said, and pointed at it.

Rose and the Doctor looked at it, walked around it, studied it every which way. "It's pretty good," she said.

The Doctor pouted. "Fortuna is better."

"Of course she is," Rose agreed, patting his arm fondly. "What's that plaque say?" she asked, because she was still looking up at the flowers in the statue's hair.

"The Earth goddess - well, Byristran equivalent of Earth goddess. Humm. So that makes this daft sod the Sky god, I s'pose."

Mickey was ignoring them, because he saw a crowd of chattering aliens - very, very alien aliens - coming through the large doors at the end of the hall. Rose and the Doctor were still looking at the statues and hadn't noticed the aliens at all. Mickey wondered if he should point them out or just run for his life now to get it over with.

"We're in trouble now," Rose said cheerfully. "Is this where..."

They looked at each other, with enormous, matching grins and sparkling matching eyes. "Sharkey!" they both exclaimed, and went off into peals of laughter.

Mickey was getting tired of the all-exclusive humor. "What do we do, Doctor?" he asked, frustrated enough to choke them both.

"Just... I think we'd better get Rose a disguise. Won't take a minute, but don't wander off."

"Are they... friendly?" Mickey asked.

"Yup," the Doctor said, popping on the end of the word, just in case he wasn't annoying enough already. "Just don't let them think you might be a god who won't do tricks for them and you should be safe enough. Or maybe they learned their lesson about that sort of thing." He shrugged. "Don't wander off," he repeated firmly, and led Rose back into the TARDIS.

Mickey poked around a bit, took in the huge tapestry at the back of the hall that depicted a blonde girl (who might have been Rose) weeping, and the world looking strange - he thought it might be freezing, but it could be just losing color - every where her tears fell. He looked at the gray, fishy aliens and they looked back at him, but they didn't seem scared or angry, so he figured they must see human beings from time to time anyway.

He stared at a stick in a glass case, one reputed to have been in the fire that was charmed by the wrath of the Sky god. It was considered a holy relic. He prodded the blue box, which bore a plaque saying it was an icon of the divine chariot that had carried the god and goddess back to heavenly bliss. Mickey snorted.

He walked around a little longer, occasionally nearly bumping into fishy aliens who were doing the same thing, although they had expressions that might have been reverence. Their squeaky, sing-song voices were strange, but the TARDIS still dutifully translated every word.

So much for just a minute, Mickey thought. He decided that they were probably getting that console shag in now and made up his mind to go interrupt them, maybe snap off a couple of photos on his mobile to send to Rose's mum. He turned and came face to face with a second statue, apparently the mate of the one of Rose. All thoughts deserted him, even blackmail.

It was him, the old him, the one who called Mickey 'Rickey the Idiot' and argued with him about his own name. Instead of a daft grin, though, he had a stern, commanding, dangerous face. Two pale blue faceted jewels had been set in for eyes. They didn't look wrong. The alien clothes looked perfect somehow, as did the haughty, angry stance with the arms folded across his chest. Instead of the leather jacket, however, he had wings, ginormous freaking wings, like a bloody great condor.

He glanced back at the Rose statue and realized her shoes had wings on them as well. Her hands were odd, too, and he guessed that was supposed to indicate some sort of power coming off of them. He hadn't noticed in the lighting earlier, but she too had jewels for eyes. Several people were stopping by either statue and bowing to them. One of the creatures, who seemed to be female, even had tears in her eyes.

Mickey waited and read the signs to pass the time. The statues had been supposedly carved by an elder who had witnessed "The Failing" and the fall of the "Dark Priest" whose name wasn't mentioned. The statues were a gift to the Byristran people and from the Byristran people to the deities they depicted, in hopes that the days of "The Failing" would pass.

As soon as the crowds had shifted away from the statues, Mickey took a step closer to the slightly oversized mock-up of the utter git with the enormous ears who had stolen his girl and her heart with his flying phone box. "You never looked much like a god to me," he muttered.

Rose and the Doctor had just reappeared and Mickey got a split second to take in her costume before he heard an angry outcry from behind him, a load of people screeching "Infidel" and "Agent of the Pit". He realized almost immediately that they were talking about him, so he pivoted on his heel and ran for his life.

"So what was she wearing?" asked Captain John.

"Hum?" said Mickey. "Oh, yards and yards of this scarf that made her look three sizes larger, a floppy hat, and a ginger wig. And sun-glasses. She looked like Shirley Temple meets Elton John, actually."

John laughed uproariously. "And your friends are these people's god and goddess? Who do they work for?"

"Them? Oh, they're like free agents. He's a complete whack job, and she's getting there, too."

"Sounds like. Lost my lover to a time traveling nutter myself, so I can sympathize. Turned him into a fine, up-standing, law-abiding citizen." John shook his head and tugged half-heartedly at his chains. "It's really very tragic," he added when Mickey didn't say anything.

Mickey didn't know what to say to that, either, so he shrugged.

"Ah, well," John said, "what'd you do after you ran?"